Study Finds Half A Million Roadway Deaths Could Be Prevented Worldwide With Global Focus On Safety

February 16, 2023 | Article by Chain | Cohn | Clark staff | Tips & Information

Study Finds Half A Million Roadway Deaths Could Be Prevented Worldwide With Global Focus On Safety

A recent study has found that focusing on road safety could potentially save more than 500,000 lives per year worldwide.

The annual global toll of road traffic injuries is a staggering 1.35 million deaths and 50 million injuries and disabilities to drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. In fact, road traffic collisions are the leading cause of deaths among children and young adults aged 5 to 29 years.

The three-paper series published in The Lancet offers an analysis of data from 74 studies in 185 countries, and highlights the importance of improving road infrastructure and implementing road safety measures to prevent roadway accidents and fatalities. Among its findings:

  • Interventions to reduce speeding such as infrastructure changes and electronic speed control could save an estimated 347,258 lives globally each year.
  • Measures to tackle drunk driving such as enhanced drink driving enforcement could save a further 16,304 lives.
  • An estimated 121,083 and 51,698 lives could be saved by passing and enforcing rules on wearing seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, respectively.

As for the United States specifically:

  • More than 22,000 lives could be saved by restricting speed and more than 5,100 through interventions on drunk driving.
  • Another 2,400 lives could be preserved by improving the use of helmets.
  • Improving seatbelt would reduce road deaths by an estimated 14,100 lives every year

“People everywhere continue to be at great risk of injury and death unless current road traffic strategies are changed to put protections in place,” said Adnan Hyder, co-author from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

The study also emphasizes the need for a coordinated global effort to address road safety, as road accidents disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, which account for over 90% of road traffic deaths and injuries. By prioritizing road safety, these countries could save countless lives and reduce the economic and social impact of road accidents.

Overall, the study underscores the importance of recognizing road safety as a critical public health issue and taking action to prevent needless deaths and injuries on the world’s roads.

“By doing so, we can help ensure that everyone has access to safe and reliable transportation and build a more sustainable and equitable future for all,” said Matt Clark, managing partner at Chain | Cohn | Clark.


If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at